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Letters of the week (07/01/2016)

“It was a privilege to join Christmas Day volunteers”

It was a privilege to join all the volunteers at Southwark People Care and Bermondsey Care for the Elderly on Christmas Day.

To see so many local people give their time to ensure others get a better Christmas is heartening. Special thanks go to all the organisers and fundraisers for these special events – including Coral Newell – who provided dinners and fun for older people at Guy’s for an astonishing 39th year running!

It was also a pleasure to visit all the volunteers with Crisis at the City of London Academy and St Matthews to see the Robes Project homeless shelter providing food and accommodation for people who’d otherwise be sleeping rough.

Southwark is lucky to have people like Coral and all the volunteers.

Thank you everyone for being so generous with your time and kindness at what can be a very lonely period for those who might otherwise have no one to be with or nowhere to live.

And all the best for 2016 to all News readers.

Neil Coyle, Member of Parliament for Bermondsey & Old Southwark

“Get in touch if your family is buried in the borough”

Very few people seem to realise what Southwark Council actually plans for the beautiful, historical Camberwell Old and New Cemeteries in Honor Oak and East Dulwich.

Cutting down over 10 acres of inner city woods is actually the tip of the iceberg.

Southwark Council wants to strip out all graves over 75 years old, remove the remains, tombstones and headstones, and sell them off for new burial plots – at both Cemeteries. The history and heritage of hundreds of thousands of Londoners from the 1850s to the Second World War are to be destroyed, replaced with new crammed-in, ugly NCP Car Park burial areas like the new Woodvale and Honor Oak Rec extensions.

Southwark Council’s disregard for London’s history and heritage is breathtaking.

There are people of note buried here, but also hundreds of thousands who are part of the history of London, including more than 300,000 paupers buried in mass graves from the time of Dickens.  If anyone has family or friends buried at the Camberwell Cemeteries, please get in touch. Save Southwark Woods is creating a list of people with friends or family buried here, to send to the Church of England.

As the Cemeteries are consecrated ground, the Diocese of Southwark still has the final say. These people believed RIP meant they would rest in peace for ever. Other better, fairer and less destructive options exist for burial. We are asking the Church of England to save the graves of the Camberwell Cemeteries.

Blanche Cameron

Save Southwark Woods

“Where did your columnist get those car stats from?”

In reply to Donnachadh McCarthy’s article, where does he get his stats from?

Sixty per cent of households are car free, really?

Well most of the people down my road own a car, some two. No one has ever asked anyone down here if they own a car, so where does he get this figure from?

And car usage is down by fifteen per cent?

Well that does surprise me considering TfL are issuing up to 600 new private hire licences a week, and cutting down the road space.

Anyone who has recently tried to attempt driving round the Elephant will tell you it’s a nightmare.

Which in turn with all the stationary traffic causes more pollution.

Jamaica Road is not only for Southwark residents, it’s for everyone. It is a main road to the suburbs and Kent.

And these protected cycle lanes are mainly used in the rush hours, so for 18 hours a day they are hardly used, but motorists have lost that extra lane so they are actually causing congestion!

Does he actually go out on the roads? I ask myself.

Richard Haughney, London, SE16


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